Taking a moderate position, I have noticed that at the very least, the brain tends to find the 2/3 ratio to be fairly pleasing; and the golden ration roughly approximates that.
I'll agree the entire Fibonacci sequence, once created, might have been Lo5'd to fit a generally pleasing aesthetic -- but that doesn't mean the aesthetic doesn't hold up.
3/2 is also a superparticular ratio
, that's a ratio of (n+1)/n. These ratios pop up all the time in musical theory as intervals, for instance. I do believe it has been scientifically established that that intervals such as the octave (1:2), perfect fifth (3:2), etc are more pleasing to the ear than ratios that aren't based on--or close to--small integers. (I should dig up research for that too, but it's way more plausible IMO).
The wikipedia page on superparticular numbers also states that these ratios are used as aspect ratios for "visual harmony", in flags and digital photography.
One thing that I read during all this browsing about was a visual designer that remarked, if you pick a ratio to work with, like 2:3 or 1:0.618 or whatever, and then use it consistently
throughout your design, you will get a strong sense of harmony. I can really get behind that. It doesn't really matter which
rule you pick, but as long as you pick a system, and stick with it, you will create something that somehow makes sense internally, and is therefore appreciated as more beautiful or harmonious.
So there is something
to this idea, but it's quite a bit more complicated than just using the golden ratio whenever, because people automatically perceive it as prettier than other ratios.
Oh! And btw speaking of the Law of Fives, there's this beauty I came across too, while searching about, it's a littlebit off-topic, it's basically a mathematical version of the Lo5 (even though it's not entirely rigorous or serious, just like ours):http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_Law_of_Small_Numbershttp://primes.utm.edu/glossary/page.php?sort=LawOfSmallhttp://mathworld.wolfram.com/StrongLawofSmallNumbers.html
It's not quite
like our Law of Fives, but it's also about seeing structures in things that aren't actually there. Except this time they really aren't actually there. There's WAY more big integers than there are small integers (duh). So when you play around with formulas that make crazy patterns with these numbers, especially when they involve prime numbers it seems, you're going to see patterns, and then mistake the pattern for a rule or a theorem. Except then, after many years of searching, there turns out to be some incredibly huge number that breaks the pattern. Click around those links to see some examples. I suppose you have to be a littlebit mathematically-minded to see how wonderful it is, though